Artist News Obituaries

Keith Flint dies

By | Published on Tuesday 5 March 2019

The Prodigy

Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint has died. The band’s Liam Howlett confirmed to fans on social media yesterday that Flint had taken his own life.

News of Flint’s death came yesterday morning, after Essex police confirmed that they had been called out due to “concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End”. Their statement continued: “We attended and, sadly, a 49 year old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner”.

In their own statement, The Prodigy said: “It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time”.

On Instagram, Howlett added: “The news is true, I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I’m shell shocked, fuckin angry, confused and heart broken. RIP brother”.

The Prodigy was founded in 1990, after Flint encouraged Howlett to put together a live show to perform tracks he had been working on in the studio. Flint and Leeroy Thornhill choreographed dance routines to the tracks, and the group was later joined by MC Maxim Reality.

Flint then provided vocals on four tracks for the band’s third album, ‘The Fat Of The Land’, including first single ‘Firestarter’. It was this track, and Flint’s distinct, punk-influenced look in its video, which brought them to international fame. It also earned them some notoriety, the video being banned by the BBC, after complaints that Flint’s performance in it had frightened children when it was shown on ‘Top Of The Pops’.

The band’s headline performance at Glastonbury in 1997 – making them the first dance act to top the festival’s bill – and which took place just days before the release of ‘The Fat Of The Land’ – also cemented their credentials as a live act.

In 2003, Flint launched a side-project, named simply Flint. The band released one single, ‘Asteroids’, promoting an album which was eventually shelved before its planned release in June that year. The previous year, The Prodigy had released a standalone single, ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’, which was written by Flint with Kieron Pepper and Tony Howlett, who were also members of the side project. The song was criticised for its references to date-rape drug Rohypnol and Liam Howlett later disowned it.

Although he remained a live member of the group, Flint did not appear on the band’s long delayed fourth album, ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned’, which was released in 2004. However, he returned on the 2008 follow-up ‘Invaders Must Die’, providing vocals on five tracks, which many saw as a creative return to form. It also scored the band their greatest commercial success since ‘The Fat Of The Land’.

Flint then contributed vocals to most tracks on 2015’s ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ and three on last year’s ‘No Tourists’.

The Prodigy completed an Australian tour in February and were set to play festival dates next month in Colombia and Austria, before heading out on US dates in May. Following the news of Flint’s death, the US dates – which would have been the band’s first headline tour in the country for more than a decade – were cancelled.

Announcements have not yet been made about upcoming festival dates, including the SW4 festival in August. Organisers of the event on London’s Clapham Common, which The Prodigy are scheduled to headline, said in a statement: “We’re processing the passing of one of the most important and iconic figures of the scene and we’ll be providing an update as soon as we can”.

Outside music, Flint also ran a pub for a time, and owned a motorcycle racing team, as well as competing as a motorcyclist himself.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, Mind offers information and support on this and other topics relating to mental wellbeing. You can also contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or music industry-specific helplines Music Support on 0800 030 6789 and Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008.